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"Evenings with Joni"
Welcome to Evenings with Joni.

We begin this series with a bold prediction: the 2007/08 Edmonton Oilers will make the playoffs. A lot of pundits, fair-weather fans, and jabber boxes are underestimating the improvements Kevin Lowe has made.

And Kevin Lowe is not perfect, but he is a smart GM.

Does the lack of offensive depth/goal scorers worry me? Of course, but forwards are much more available than defense men or goalies. Lowe is building the organization from the back out. Roloson/Garon is a solid tandem that secures the net for the next two years. Souray, Staois, Pitkanen, Smid, Greene, Grebs and Gilbert is a nice blueline.

Greene and Grebs will need to play a big role in my prediction coming true. They will need to fill the shot blocking and toughness that Gator brought. Offensively, I expect Pitkanen and Souray to have good but not career years, save for plus/minus which I think will dramatically improve. Staois is a solid leader and is a great compliment to almost any pairing. Tarnstrom seems redundant to me, but I was always impressed with his ability to hold a blueline on the PP. Going to be interesting to see where that goes.

Up front we lack veteran firepower. But our youthful core is something we can and will add to.

Wait Kevin Lowe, wait and a season of failure's perfection will give way to a season of suprising success.
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